Certain amendments possible to Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill: Romesh de Silva PC
Posted on April 21st, 2021

Yoshitha Perera Courtesy The Daily Mirror

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva, appearing on behalf of President’s Secretary P.B. Jayasundara in the intervening petition on the Port City Economic Commission Bill, told the Supreme Court that the acts of the Colombo Port City Commission could be also subjected to judicial review and the aggrieved parties could file Fundamental Rights petitions or take legal measures if there is any matter occurred within the Commission.

He also informed the bench that he would recommend making amendments to it.

Making the submission on behalf of his client, he told Court that enforcement or set aside certain clauses under the chapter 7 of the Arbitration Act would be recommended to the Bill as an amendment.

The acts of the Colombo Port City Commission can also be subject to judicial review and parties can file Fundamental Rights petitions or can take legal measures if there is any matter occurred within the Commission,” he told the Court.

However, Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya pointed that the main objections were made by the petitioners regarding to the Section 63(2) of the Colombo Port City Commission Bill.

Making further submissions, de Silva PC said that 99% of the money earned by the project goes to the Consolidated Fund.

The Government get the money by leasing the land without spending a single amount and by leasing the land the country will receive 99% of the profit within the period of June 2023 to June 2028. After this period the Government will receive the total 100% profit by leasing the land and the amount will transfer to the Consolidated Fund,” Mr. de Silva said.

He further added that total land comes within the purview of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission and the members of the Commission appointed by the President.

However, Justice Murdu Fernando questioned Mr. de Silva as to whether the leased land managed by the Commission would be handed over to the Project Company in the future.

Replying to the question raised by Justice Fernando, Mr. de Silva said that point have to be checked with leasing conditions and he could not comment on that matter at the moment.

He also added that in the Bill it was not mentioned Provincial Council authority over the land and it was not necessary to mention it since the land falls under administrative district of Western Province. 

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